When the Ramones recorded their debut album for $6,400 in February 1976, the agenda was simple: “Eliminate the unnecessary and focus on the substance,” as Tommy put it in 1999. But the brilliance of punk’s most influential and enduring record — how four disparate outcasts from the American adolescent mainstream made such original single-minded fury — remains hard to define. Stork-like singer Joey was a pop kid chanting “Hey ho, let’s go!” at the start of “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Guitarist Johnny pared Dick Dale and Bo Diddley down to the airtight, bluesless staccato of “Beat on the Brat” and “Loudmouth.” Bassist and primary lyricist Dee Dee wrote about what he knew (drugs, despair, hustling) with telegramatic wit. And drummer Tommy, a former recording engineer on Jimi Hendrix sessions, co-produced Ramones, guarding its brevity and purity. “We thought we could be the biggest band in the world,” Johnny recalled. In a way, they would be. This is where it began.